Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Short Gift Guide: My Secret Circle and Zibits Mini Robots

I have kids and I'm always looking for interesting things for them. I received both of these products for review and I want to tell you about them in this "Mini" gift guide.

My Secret Circle is a computer based item that you can safely hook up with your best friend online. My daughter gave one to her BFF and they had a great time exploring all the features and being able to talk safely and privately. I'll tell you that it took us a little while to figure it out but other than that they loved it.

From the Website:

Unlock your secret circle! A key for you and your best friend too!Stay connected with your friends online with My Secret Circle BBF Pack™! With the BFF pack you get to select your very first circle friend! Online Access Keys unlocks the ability to Journal, Instant Message, Play Games and share photos with your Secret Circle!

No subscriptions or additional fees required.

I also received a Zibit Mini Robot and I'll say that my son LOVED this toy. It's a small robot that comes with a little remote and you can "drive" it around. I'll say that he had a blast (as did his dad) and wants more. They seem to be affordable and I can see us buying more. If you have a boy (or even a girl) you may want to take the time to check into this!

From Toys R Us website:

Welcome to the world of Zibits with our Zibit? Mini Collectible R/C Robot - Urban Tech 1! Zibits spin, race, and are taking the world by storm! These Mini Collectable Zibits come to life with R/C!! Race your Zibit forward and turn at a 360 degree radius. Collect'em ALL! 12 hot Zibit designs! The Zibit? Mini Collectible R/C Robot features:

Awesome Zibit sound effects
Multiple points of articulation

**Review products provided by manufacturer. All opinions are my own and I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King

I'll say that I'm a horror fan...always have been because I love a good "pretend" scare. In real life I'm a big chicken LOL! I checked this one out from the library and couldn't wait to read it. I know I'll have to buy it eventually to add to my Stephen King collection because I really enjoyed it. It's a collection of novellas that will make your skin crawl!

I've seen mixed reviews on this book but I was satisfied with it. I enjoyed each story as they were each unique. I think if you enjoy horror you may want to check this one out.

About The Book:
(from Fantastic Fiction UK)

'I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...' writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up '1922', the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerising tales from Stephen King, linked by the theme of retribution. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife Arlette proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness. In 'Big Driver', a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger is along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face to face with another stranger: the one inside herself. 'Fair Extension', the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Harry Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment. When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It's a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends 'A Good Marriage'. Like DIFFERENT SEASONS and FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT, which generated such enduring hit films as The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, FULL DARK, NO STARS proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Share your thoughts: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Have you read this one yet my bookish friends? I just finished it today and have to say that I found it different and intriquing. Jay Asher certainly had a powerful message to pass along and did so well in his writing.

It was a touching and sad story and I think represents the suicidal teen in a real way. A way that I think people don't see. A way that people think that a teens problems aren't so big. A way that shows it from their eyes and might make you take a closer look.

So, I want to know what you thought if you've read this one. I'd love to see some opinions.

About The Book:
(from Goodreads)

Jay Asher's brilliant first novel is a moving, highly original story that focuses on a set of audiotapes made by a girl before she committed suicide, and which explain to 13 people the reasons why she decided to end her life. Told in a highly effective duel narrative -- alternating between the girl s voice and the thoughts of a boy who is listening -- this honest, poignant story reveals how other people's actions shape, and by extension can ruin, an individual's faith in people. Intensely powerful and painfully real, Thirteen Reasons Why reveals how brutal high school can be, the consequences of spreading rumors, and the lasting effects of suicide on those left behind.

**Review copy: Library copy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

YA Review: After by Amy Efaw

I have to say that this was a great book. I personally think that teenagers should have this one as required reading. It is an emotionally draining book...a very sad story. I was "happy" to find out how it ended and how the author chose to end it. It's rare to see people taking responsibility for their actions anymore.
There isn't a ton for me to say here except that I think you should pick this one up. It certainly can shed some light on teen pregnancy.
About The Book:
An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .
Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made - Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there's only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.
**review copy: my personal copy

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blog Tour: A Winter Solstice Celebration by DiDi LeMay

My daughter and I really enjoyed this one. It's certainly for older children IMO; my daughter is in 2nd grade and was able to read and understand it easily.

The story itself is a good one. It really helps young ones to understand environmental issues and how the little things we do affect the world. I thought it was fun and educational. I should also mention that I loved the illustrations!

About The Book:
(from Author's Website)

A Winter Solstice Celebration” helps children and adults alike to understand how the animals feel about their planet, how humans can help and how and how humans and animals can live together in harmony. A Winter Solstice is warm story that relates to all who read it.

A Winter Solstice Celebration takes young readers deep into the forest, where they discover how seemingly harmless human activities can wreak havoc on the natural world.

**Review copy provided by author. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Upcoming CSN Review and a Giveaway!

You have to love CSN! They have over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be a chic handbag, bathroom shelving or even cute cookware! Thanks to the great folks at CSN I'll get to do another review but I want my readers to have fun also!

So for you to have fun I'm giving away two books to one lucky winner! I have one copy of Hex In High Heels and one copy of Bedlam, Bath, and Beyond!

To enter simply click on the words "bathroom shelving" at the beginning of the post and tell me which of those you like the most. I posted my favorite. :)

-open to US residents only

-ends November 20th

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: Dust by Joan Frances Turner

I must say that this was an original. I've never read a "zombie" book from this point of view and it did tend to make you think. I did think
that there was a bit of over-writing at some points that led me to skim but other than that I didn't have any complaints. Certainly unique and I would say to check it out if you haven't yet.
About The Book:
(from Dust website)

Nine years ago, Jessie had a family.Now, she has a gang.
Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian.
Now, she eats very fresh meat.
Nine years ago,Jessie was in a car crash and died.
Nine years ago, Jessie was human.
Now, she’s not.

After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…

About The Author:
(also from Dust website)

Joan Frances Turner is the author of Dust, forthcoming from Ace Books on September 7, 2010. Dust is a story of the undead from their own point of view, as they battle time, decay, the loved ones they left behind, encroaching humanity and each other. Or, think Watership Down with zombies instead of rabbits. She is currently working on a sequel, tentatively titled Frail, from the all-important human perspective.

Joan was born in Rhode Island and grew up in the Calumet Region of northwest Indiana, which fellow Region Rat Jean Shepherd famously said “clings precariously to the underbody of Chicago like a barnacle clings to the rotting hulk of a tramp steamer.” Like Mr. Shepherd, she aspires someday to have a local community center named after her against her will. A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, she lives near the beach with her family and a garden full of spring onions and tiger lilies, weather permitting.

Joan is represented by Michelle Brower of Folio Literary Management. Dust is her first novel.
Review copy provided by publisher. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Review and Blog Tour: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Once again this was another exceptional book in the series. I'm not sure what to tell you at this point to convince you that it's a must read series. I've fallen for these characters and their plight, and I get excited everytime I pick up one of the McKayla Lane novels. If yuo haven't checked it out yet then you should. This is a must read series in my opinion!

About The Book:
(from here)

In FAEFEVER, Karen Marie Moning returns to the shadowy Dublin Otherworld in an undeniably sexy novel her fans are feverish for. Changed by the choices she made in order to survive, Mac no longer is the naïve, idealistic, and glamorous girl newly arrived in Dublin. Now, on a quest to find her sister's killer, she is a major player in a deadly game, but with one great advantage: she knows how to find the one thing Fae and human alike are willing to kill for - the Sinsar Dubh, an ancient book of magic so dark it corrupts anyone who touches it. What Mac soon discovers, however, is worse than she had imagined. Surrounded by treachery, her enemies indistinguishable from her allies, she can be certain of only one thing - as All Hallows' Eve approaches, her time is running out.

About The Author:
(from her website)

Karen Marie Moning was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of four children. She graduated from Purdue University with a BA in Society and Law. After a decade of working with insurance litigation and arbitration, she quit her job to pursue her dream of a writing career. Four manuscripts and countless part-time jobs later, Beyond the Highland Mist was published by Bantam Dell and nominated for two prestigious RITA awards. Author of the beloved HIGHLANDER series and the thrilling new FEVER series, featuring MacKayla Lane, a sidhe seer. Her novels have appeared on The New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly bestsellers lists, and have received many industry awards, including the RITA.

Review copy provided by publisher as part of TLC Book Tours. All opinions are my own.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guest Post: Ann Pareti from Life Choices 'Putting The Pieces Together'


When Judi Moreo mentioned she was creating a book about stories of people who had to make choices on starting over again or picking up pieces in their lives, I have to say, my initial response was, my goodness, I could probably write a few chapters in that book! However, the idea that there were so many other people that perhaps had more profound stories than I could ever imagine made me think my story wouldn’t even make the first cut of submissions. Well, goes to show you what I really know! So, I am here today to share a hint of my tale with you.

I was given an opportunity early in my life to make some life altering choices on where my world would take me. Sometimes we don’t know how one little choice can change our world overnight. I was always fond of the song “What a Difference a Day Makes” for many reasons, however, the real reason was I always believed that change could happen in merely a day. Actually, change could happen in a split second if we are open to the option of merely choosing again. We have all had an experience of that at one time or another. I can still remember a time several years ago, where I was sitting at a red light and the light turned green and something inside of me said to wait just a second or two before crossing the light, just then a car came speeding across the intersection that I was suppose to be in at that moment. I was very thankful I listened to that little voice inside my head. Again, a split second choice was what changed my world. Had I not been open to listening and just going on auto-pilot that day, I suspect I would not be here to write this at all.

Well, as you have probably guessed by now, I made a choice that altered by future. How I chose to deal with that choice is what makes this tale a little different than perhaps someone else’s story. I always knew somehow and some way, if I was to succeed in what I desired, I would find a way of achieving it. Those of us who live in America have the freedom and luxury of living in a country where we can choose our thoughts and our actions without persecution. On most days, I remember that I can choose how I perceive this life and I choose to perceive it with the help of grace.

About The Author:

Since 1977, Ann Parenti has lived in Las Vegas and has seen this city grow into the community it is today. Ann owns Parenti & Associates which is a manufacturers’ representative firm that sell products to the architectural and design community such as wallcovering, fabric, furniture, artwork and digital artwork. She has owned the company since 1987 and enjoys her career. However, there is another whole world that Ann started exploring a few years back that originated out of wanting to help people. She is also a singer songwriter and has a CD on the market called As Promised, music based on A Course in Miracles. In 2009, when the economy took a detour, the idea of doing a seminar to help her clients and friends who were being displaced and let go came to her. POSSIBILITIES – The Seminar was born. It is now going into its second year and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Ann is also featured as one of the authors in the book Life Choices: Picking up the Pieces. Ann has been involved in several association network groups that are related to her career such as NEWH, IIDA, ASID, CSI, Rep Network Group. She recently expanded her networking to groups like WNTLV, WE of Las Vegas, Kiwanis of Las Vegas Neon Lights, and a few more. Over the years Ann has adopted many community service projects to raise money for and recently she has been involved with one near and dear to her heart called the Oasis Center. Ann is happily married to Curtis McCoy and has 3 charming step daughters who all married and then gave her and Curtis 7 beautiful grandchildren.

To find out more about Ann, please visit the following websites.

About Life Choices: Putting the Pieces Together

If life didn’t challenge us,how could we know how strong we are?
How would we learn who we are capable of becoming?

There is no such thing as life without struggle. No one comes out of a struggle the same as he or she was when it began. Everyone has to make choices between giving up or growing stronger.
These authors hope that by sharing their stories, you will realize nomatter how many pieces your life is in or what they look like, you can fit them together into a picture of wholeness and success.

Meet the Co-Authors of Life Choices: Putting the Pieces Together:

Andrea Chestnut
Jasmine Freeman
Anne Dreyer
Kathy Jo Pollack
Vickie Lane
Gregory Lay
Jo Wilkins
Charlotte Foust
Joan Peck
Ginette Osier Bedsaul
April Aimee Adams
Darlene Mahon
Joy Huntsman
Myriam Lazo
Bea Goodwin
Eric Culverson
Cindy Hallam
Deborah Clark
Ann Parenti
Lori La Bey
Becky Buckley
Mike Levin
Peggy Vasquez
Derick Poremba-Brumer
Lynette Chapell